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Re: [APD] CO2 angst

On 10/20/06, Vaughn Hopkins <hoppycalif at yahoo_com> wrote:
> The problem for relative newcomers like me is that we test per the KH/
> pH table and see numbers that say we have 80 ppm of CO2, so we
> immediately try to drop it down to a reasonable 40 ppm, for example.
> Then as BBA hits and our plants grow slowly, people tell us to raise
> the CO2, but we can't make ourselves do that, thinking we are really
> going overboard already, having twice the usual recommended amount.
> So, we fight BBA and bad plant growth forever, or until we get
> discouraged and try another hobby.

What you wrote is the exact reason it is a bad idea to get all twisted up
about whatever your CO2 numbers might be from any method of testing. As long
as I ignored every test kit on the market, dosed the tank, did water changes
and didn't do any tests at all, I had great plant growth and healthy fish.
It was only when I decided to "double check" by testing that I got into

Any idiot -- even me! -- can see if plants are growing and thriving or if
algae is growing and thriving. Not every idiot -- me for example -- can get
the results one is supposed to get from consumer grade test kits and,
frankly, I don't really want to take out a second mortgage to buy real test
kits.  I'd rather spend that money on another tank!

If algae is growing and plants are not there is a problem.  In the archives
there is a pretty good post -- I think it was from Tom -- giving different
types of algae and what the likely missing ingredient is if a particular
type of algae is growing.  That helped me solve the problems I created by

I'm all for people testing and/or doing whatever makes them happy with their
tanks.  That said, there is no way I'd suggest to anyone getting started
with a first planted tank that they should use test kits -- my own
experience and the commentary I read here leads me to conclude that a person
is more likely to be successful just doing EI or some other simple scheme
and ignoring "the numbers."  While I'm pretty sure that you can overdose a
tank by dumping in a pound of KNO3 or loosening the valve on the CO2
canister until you are performing an experiment in jet propulsion, it seems
to be to be pretty darned difficult for a reasonable sighted person to
overdose a tank filled with plants.

I'll be a good netizen by going over and getting into the pillory now.  I'm
sure Scott will agree to lock me in, or lock me up as the case may be.  :)

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